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In a rut and unable to make friends

March 14, 2017 | By | 5 Replies Continue Reading
A woman feels in a rut—unable to make friends, even though she is on meds and has seen therapists.

QUESTION

Hi,

Let me start by saying that I am on meds and have seen my fair share of therapists over the years…and I’m in the same rut.

I am a single mom of a teenager daughter (we have a great relationship) and have a long-term boyfriend (not a very happy relationship).

For most, if not all of my life, I haven’t really had friends. I never moved except when attending university. Now I’m in my mid 40s, alone and miserable. I’ve looked at various things such as volunteering or a MeetUp groups and they just don’t appeal to me. I don’t really have any hobbies either.

Any feedback would be appreciated…I’m just so down and out. 🙁

Signed, Beth

ANSWER

Hi Beth,

I’m sorry that things feel so bleak for you right now. It sounds like you’ve raised a great daughter and have a companion, although that relationship may be imperfect.

Having few or no outside interests is common among people plagued with depression. Depression can sap a person’s energy so nothing and no one seems appealing.

Given how you feel, it’s understandable that you would be unable to motivate yourself to change your social situation, in terms of making a friend or two, or improving/changing your relationship with your boyfriend.

Since you are already in treatment, it might be helpful to have your medication/psychotherapy regimen reviewed to see what else can be done to give you the spark you are missing. If you have lost confidence in the person treating you, you might even want to get a second opinion from someone who can look at your situation with fresh eyes.

This might be the single most important step you can take to get out of that rut you are in. It’s encouraging that you were able to reach out to me and others on this blog.

Hope this helps.

Best, Irene

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Category: HAVING NO FRIENDS

Comments (5)

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  1. Lisa says:

    I’m 59, I’ve never had a group of friends. I’ve experienced a friendship with some people but it’s been situational. They’re exceeding where my husband couldn’t because of Chronic Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. I essentially raised 3 children as I was his primary caregiver. When I was diagnosed with a rate unknown to me one sided genetic cancertain causing disease I still took care of him. So 1981 to 2009 he lived home with me as his everything. We managed through my total colostomy in 2004, chemo 2006, my children then at 17 n 20 2005 n 2006. So when he progressed to a cognitive, physical danger to himself and family we had the difficult decision to place this sweet man child in a nursing home. How could I work full time, illness serious stuff ran thru this family hospitals, near death experience…create any friendship?. I’m now on s.s. disability n a pension. I live in my home I never liked but what we could afford. My son left for Nevada travels Europe with his wige, ignores us n his disease. My daughter married only two years as well has had to be my caregiver at times. Her husband doesn’t like it. I would like a small place of my own and a few good friends. I’ve tried EVERYTHING. I stand 5ft tall, make jokes about my issues if they come up. I just want people to stop complaining about the small stuff and recognize a friend may be just the medicine they need or want. Take in a movie, go to dinner, laugh, go shopping, talk about our kids in real time. The good n the bad. No pretense, no practiced smiles just genuine friendship. My married friends left because I’m single in their eyes. I’ve grieved a lot over the years, I would like to enjoy the years I have left. Some people want a companion but I don’t want expectations I can’t fulfill and don’t want to place expectations on someone either. My marriage is baggage but it’s a carry on luggage situation. My friendship life is ghostly if you have a skill or can offer something to someone they sure enough will make you their friend. I can meet them laugh but I can’t force them to call or hang out. Well I’m venting a bit more than I wanted to. It’s just that I believe other cultures have strong family n friend ties. In the states especially long island it seems dam near impossible to gain 1 friend at just turning 59 then recovering through a lifetime of hardships. I’m not the only one and my heart goes out to each of you, knoting that lost,empty, lonely feeling. I use my phone now as a computer n paperweight,it doesn’t ring anymore. I’m not defined by my illness, I’m a person with heart, believe in paying it forward, believe in balance, creativity and wit. Hello?

  2. elisa says:

    Don’t think very much of the supposed advice/help.

    That’s one thing that shits me to no end: all the bull shit “help” from so called experts and “professionals” … Just more leeches and carrion taking advantage of people in a weakened state. Fake crap help.

    I needed help getting back into the work force. What I got was taken for a ride while those there to “help” made money from exploiting me. And my government dully sanctions it, even when these employment” companies have been charged with fraud and more. No one care about the down and out.

    …in all areas, whether it is the isolated, the long term unemployed, the disabled …we are used and taken advantage of by every man and his dog, starting first with our own families – who put us in a disadvantaged position in the first place …and feed off of it.

  3. Asia says:

    Have you ever tried better help? It’s an online therapy. At least look into it please. My therapist [NAME AND CONTACT INFORMATION HAS BEEN DELETED BY MODERATOR – PER TERMS OF SERVICE] is wonderful!! Her stragedy is amazing & she doesn’t necessarily tell you WHAT to do but she helps you FIGURE OUT what to do. Hope this helps. 🙂

  4. Sandra says:

    It’s a great first step that you are reaching out for answers and help here. Managing depression is a challenge, and it really can get in the way of friendship sometimes. A handful of my good friends have battled depression, including bipolar depression and mild depression, so I have witnessed some of these difficulties.

    This doesn’t apply to depression, necessarily, so please don’t read the wrong meaning into this suggestion. I’ve also noticed, many times, that people who feel they don’t have friends are usually the ones waiting for others to reach out to them. I’ve heard these people say they feel hurt when others neglect to invite them to activities or parties — and yet they never pick up the phone and invite people out, and they rarely (if ever) invite someone over for coffee or a drink.

    As the saying goes, to have friends you have to BE a friend. You have to reach out for others around you in your community or at work — instead of waiting for friends to come to you.

    That said, I understand that this isn’t easy to do when you are not feeling well, or when depression is pulling you back. I hope you will take the advice of Amy F and Irene, and ensure you’re getting the right treatment. I hope you feel better soon.

  5. Amy F says:

    Have you ever had therapy specifically for lack of friends and socializing issues? Since your problem of not having friends is lifelong, you may have difficulty reading social cues or there may be something in your body language/facial expression that prevents people from seeing you as a person who is open to friendship.

    Also, have you talked to your psychiatrist about your blasé feelings and lack of interest in activities that might bring you your desired goal of making friends. Chronic low grade depression, once called dysthymia is a very real, under-recognized condition and your meds may need to be tweaked if you have this. Being caught up in a cycle of wanting things to change, without wanting to do anything to change them could be a sign that your meds aren’t working the best way then can.

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